Student protests across South Africa

Riot police intervene in Cape Town protest over increased college fees.

University campuses in Cape Town and around the country have been rocked by student demonstrations against rising university fees, leading at least ten institutions to close their doors in recent days.

Students are protesting the proposed tuition fee increases, which vary from college to college, and range between 10 and 12 per cent.

Students say the increased fees will force poor black students further out of the education system. They are calling for free education for those unable to pay, saying this was promised by the African National Congress (ANC) government when it took power in 1994.

However the government says it cannot afford this approach.

On 21 October thousands of students clashed with riot police in Cape Town after forcing their way through the gates of parliament in an attempt to interrupt a speech by finance minister Nhanhla Nene during which he outlined the government's policy in relation to increased university fees.

The protest, which led to 29 people being charged with public violence, was among the biggest student protests to hit South Africa since white minority rule ended in 1994.

The protests began on 16 October after students at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesberg demonstrated against a 10.5 per cent fee increase for the 2016 academic year.

The country's president Jacob Zuma said he would hold talks with student leaders on 23 October.

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